After the mad rush of the holidays, with their fun but frenetic flurry of over-activity, I am always in need of stillness. This is particularly true for me this year, so I pull on my boots, bundle up, and slip away for a while, far from the sounds of civilization.
I go to the woods and wander in among the trees until I am enveloped in a cocoon of healing silence. With grateful breaths, I pause to inhale the familiar scent of fallen leaves. I lean close to the protective arms of a massive oak that holds its leaves all winter; like a child, I rest my head for long minutes against the quiet shelter of its heart.
I can feel peace and equilibrium returning; already I’m feeling more centered and whole. I pick my way down a steep bluff, aided by stair-step roots. Above me, jays and chickadees flit through the bare-branched canopy.
When I finally clamber down to the river trail, I smile when I notice my path is bestrewn with stars – the delicate seed-heads of woodland asters.
Although last autumn’s bright palette has faded into wintry, sepia-toned memories, here and there I spy bits of still-red leaves and thin green asterisks of grass.
I attune my ears to the almost inaudible murmur of flowing water, exhaling thin plumes of steam as I ramble along. In the distance, the wild song of Canada geese echoes back to me; I turn to scan the skies and, finding them, watch their majestic, upriver flight.
Winter days are brief – it’s nearly sunset already, and the mercury is plummeting. I know I should be heading back now, but my heart yearns for just a few more minutes alone in nature. So I wander farther along the river to explore an area I’ve never visited before.
Suddenly, I stop and stare, having come upon a special gift that seems to be just for me. There in the water is a perfect, heart-shaped river stone. I stand and marvel at its simple, timeless message, and these lovely words spring to mind:
Become silent, and wait
within your heart to feel
the next step
choreographed by Love,
then close your eyes and
surrender to the hold of
grace. Let yourself lean
into the music of stillness
dancing. . .
~Kate Mullane Robertson
As I move into the days and months of 2015, I intend to keep these words pinned to my inspiration board. I want to create more space in my life for moments of healing silence, to dial down the noise – both exterior and interior – until I can hear stillness dancing. I want to close my eyes and rest in the sure knowledge that grace is limitless and everywhere. More than anything, I want to be poised and ready to respond to Love’s next cue.
I hope that your new year, also, will be filled with your heart’s dearest wishes. May health and peace be yours, and may love’s many blessings enfold you.